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Writing

Effective

Paragraphs

What is a paragraph? A PARAGRAPH is a group of sentences tied by one main idea, called topic sentence (same as thesis statement).

Characteristics of paragraphs
Unity: focuses on the topic Coherence: continuity of the thought Adequate content Adequate development Adequate Pattern of Organization.

Paragraphs have
Structure: A topic statement that ties sentences. Form: Marked by indention. Length: 50 to 250 words 2 to 15 sentences

Ways of Developing Paragraphs

What is the topic?


Changing stairs into ramp in front of xxx building benefits handicapped persons. Customers in wheelchairs would mostly benefit from this change. Individuals who wear braces, who use canes or a walker, who need other types of assistance find it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs. Individuals with asthma or other breathing problems often find stairs a menace. In addition to these individuals, parents with small children in carts or strollers would find the ramp convenient. Older citizens, too, would benefit from this small but significant alteration in front of the building.

How to make the paragraph a unified whole? 9 The Topic Sentence controls other sentences. 9 The sentences follow a pattern of development.

Ways To Begin and To Develop Paragraphs


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Ways To Begin and To Develop Paragraphs


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9Process 9Action, Process to follow. 9Advice: gives an important advice. 9Background, history 9Call for actions related to the topic 9Command/Request 9Comparison-contrast 9Definition and classification 9Statement of theory & technique 9Forecast and hypothesis 9Illustration and exemplification 9Listing: lists parts or ideas 9Statement of a point of view (of the author) 9Question & answer 9Quotation: starts with a quotation.

WTB X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

WTD X

9Refute-an-argument: against another argument. 9Statement of scope: shows limitations of the subject 9Specific details: details of special importance 9Statement of a fact 9Statement of a point of interest 9Statement developmental plans 9Statement of purpose 9Statement of the problem 9Summary of the main idea of the text 9Analysis, Discussion 9Cause-and-effect 9General-to-particular or Particular-to-general 9Combination

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X X

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X X X X X

Sr

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Ways To Develop the Topic statement in Paragraphs Process 9Action, Process to follow 9Comparison-contrast 9Definition and classification 9Illustration and exemplification 9Listing: lists parts or ideas 9Question & answer 9Refute-an-argument 9Statement of developmental plans 9Analysis, Discussion 9Cause-and-effect 9General-to-particular or Particular-to- 9Combination

Cohesion of the paragraph is achieved through 1) Tying all sentences to the topic statement 2) Maintaining a clear pattern of development 3) Using specific transition elements within and between sentences.

Each way-to-develop should show Its supportive specific words Use appropriate constructions: comparatives/superlatives, Use verbs and verb related constructions causative verbs tense-time relationship conditional constructions subordination/ coordination time adverbs, punctuation passive-active voice, connectives ....

Definition What is technical writing? Technical writing as a term is not found in common dictionaries. Websters New World Dictionary defines technical as having to do with applied sciences... and writing as the occupation of the writer .... We might combine these two definitions to define technical writing as writing about science and technology. Associated Specific Words The following are examples: this means, from this definition, in other words, as a clarification Other elements that suit development

Narration ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ When the gasoline is burned in an internal combustion engine, it produces, in addition to water and carbon dioxide, noxious carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides which are dangerous pollutants. The hydrogen in the gas combines with oxygen from the air to form water vapor; carbon in the gas combines with oxygen from the air to form carbon dioxide. The net products of the combustion are water and carbon dioxide. Gas-driven cars burn gas that leaves the air relatively clean. Hydrocarbon gases contain mainly hydrogen and carbon that contain very little impurities. Gas-driven cars are environmentally more friendly than gasoline cars. Transition Elements Chronological ordering: first, second, last Time adverbs: When, then, after, before, ... Verbs: follow, precede, come before or after, ...

Exemplification / Illustration 1. Not only the physical and life sciences but also the social sciences and the humanities require the services of technical writers. For example, a discussion on language testing can become very "technical." Demography offers a variety of aspects involving complex statistical data,.... 2. Birds and animals . For example, a bee returning from flowers with a load of nectar performs a dance that tells the other bees in hive where to get nectar....

Transition Elements (exemplification) for example, to illustrate, as an example, for instance, in particular, namely, that is, in other words, Verbs: define, show, illustrate, have, be (equative), ...

Comparison/Contrast 1. Some people would like to distinguish between the writing done by scientists and engineers. However, the principle of writing is the same. This text is concerned with the principle common to the requirements for technical writing, no matter who does the writing. 2. Clarity and precision are often interdependent. Clarity is achieved when the writer has communicated meaningfully to the reader. Precision is achieved when the writer attains exact correspondence between the matter to be communicated and written expression. Faults in clarity and precision result when the following occur.... Transition Elements not only... but also, but, yet, however, still, nevertheless, even though, in spite of, despite, on the contrary, unlike, on the other hand, conversely, whereas, also, similarly, likewise, in the same way (manner)...

Process What happens when the source (person) tries to establish commonness of experience with the receiver? First, the source encodes the message he wants to communicate. The message is then sent to the receiver. The receiver gets the message and can decode it only within the framework of his knowledge of the subject and his personal experience. When the brakes are applied, the pistons in the wheel cylinder, acting on the brake shoe, through the connecting links, force the shoe against the drum. Since the shoe floats free in the brake, the force of friction between the shoes and the rotating drum, turns the entire assembly in the direction of the wheel rotation.... Transition Elements Use sequence transition such as moreover, in addition, also, then, afterwards, next, afterwards, again...,

Cause-and-Effect Analysis The source can encode and the destination can decode only in terms of the experience each has had. If the two have a large area in common, communication is easy. If they share nothing, communication is impossible. If we have never learned Chinese, we can neither encode or decode in that language. The presence of a common code between the sender and the receiver is, therefore, essential for any message to be understood. Transition Elements Because, therefore, for, so, although, if, causative verbs: cause, result, produce, effect, give, as a result, consequently, hence, because, if, thus, for this reason, since, due to, when,... Special Verbs: cause, result, give rise to, induce, produce, affect, ... conditional tenses, ... .

Classification / Analysis Displacement along a fault may be horizontal, vertical, or a combination of these. Movement may occur very suddenly along a stressed fault, producing an earthquake, it may be very slow, or what it is called "creep," unaccompanied by seismographic evidence .... As it presents itself, the earth can be physically described as a ball of rock (the lithosphere), partly covered by water (the hydrosphere) and wrapped in an envelope of air (the atmosphere). To all these three physical zones, it is convenient to add a biological zone (the biosphere). Transition Elements Special verbs: classify, consist, composed, describe, divide, ... Other ordinal elements

Listing In addition to coal and nuclear energy, a variety of other power sources are also frequently discussed in the news and in scientific literature.... Geothermal energy is one of the more practical of proposed new sources.... Solar energy seems an elegant idea.... Sophisticated windmills to generate electricity are also under study by some .... What makes for a good paragraph in scientific/ technical writing? First of all, a good paragraph has unity: focuses on a single idea or theme. Second, a good paragraph has coherence; one sentence leads to the next in some kind of logical sequence. Finally, a good paragraph has adequate content: appropriate details to support the main idea. Transition Elements Use sequence transitions: first, second, ... and other ordinal numbers, then finally, ... Others: Lists show parallelism. (All lists start with the same grammatical form or structure.)

General-to-Particular Ordering What kinds of things must writers learn to become effective and efficient communicators? Writers should understand the situation, uses, and audiences for a given communication and write for those audiences and uses. Also they should have clear organisation and logical reasoning; they should write clear and concise sentences. In other words, writers should produce sentences that readers can easily understand, and they should place those sentences in context of paragraphs and larger. Moreover, they should follow the standard conventions for grammar, punctuation, and other mechanics. Transition Elements: almost those of listing, or exemplification, or ordering (ordinal numbers and sequencing). Depending on the topic, use appropriate transition.